Wilbur awoke in a dark, cold room. At first he thought he’d been placed in a coffin, but further inspection revealed cold metal sides. When his fingers explored the panel above his head, pushing lightly, a crack of light opened at his feet. When he pushed further he realized he lay in some kind of drawer. As he pushed his way out he found himself in a stark white room with cold metal accents all around. When he had pushed himself far enough out he sat up.
A guy in a lab coat cowered against the far wall. Wilbur looked back at the wall from which he had just pushed himself. Similar metal cabinets stood in neat rows and covered the entire row.
“The morgue,” Wilbur said.
The morgue attendant gave a yelp. “Who said that?” he called in a shaky voice.
Wilbur looked back at the attendant then around the small room. “Is there anybody else here?” Wilbur asked.
The attendant shook. “Yes,” he said, then latching onto the words like a life-preserver, continued, “Yes, lots of people. There’s people outside the door and lots of witnesses. They’ll find you if you kill me.”
Wilbur looked around to see where the camera crew might pop out. “Why would I kill you?” Wilbur asked.
“I don’t know…” the attendant said. “Don’t ghosts normally kill people? Revenge on the living and all?”
“I wouldn’t know,” Wilbur said. He sat there for a minute looking at the fear in the eyes of the attendant. “Where are my clothes?” Wilbur finally asked.
“I didn’t think ghosts needed clothes.”
“You expect me to walk around like this?”
The attendant couldn’t see what “this” meant, but he pointed a shaky finger across the room to a second set of smaller drawers.
Wilbur swung his legs around and padded over to the drawers. “Which one’s mine?”
The attendant gave a fresh yelp and turned his attention indiscriminately in Wilbur’s direction.
Wilbur looked back at the attendant, the wild fear in his eyes, pointed somewhere in his direction, but not at him. Wilbur waved his hands. The attendant didn’t move. Wilbur did a little dance. No sign of recognition crossed the attendant’s face. Wilbur walked up close to the attendant and said, “Boo.” The attendant yelped and fainted. Wilbur chuckled to himself, but then he felt shame. The young attendant lay splayed out on the floor in the most pitiful manner, innocent of anything but fear.
Wilbur matched his toe tag to the numbers on one of the drawers and pulled out his clothes and got dressed. He smiled. “It’s high time,” he said, “I came back from the dead.”
He could not figure out how to do it, though. He had few friends and no family beyond his sister, and his ex certainly wouldn’t care one way or the other. If he showed up at his sister’s house he might cause more than a faint, and then he’d really be alone.
He went to the park down the street from his apartment and sat on the bench. He sat there thinking through the options. He finally decided to find his brother-in-law and approach him first. Before he could move, however, an old lady walked up with a bag full of bread crumbs for the pigeons and sat on him.
The old woman screamed upon the contact and hurriedly stood up.
“Hey,” he called, mostly out of bewilderment.
“Oh, oh, oh,” she said, “I’m so sorry, I-” She stopped and looked this way and that, seemingly uncertain of what just happened.
“It’s alright,” Wilbur said.
A strange look came into the woman’s eye. “Who said that?”
“Who do you think?” Wilbur asked.
The lady’s eyes widened. She checked her pulse and then placed the back of her hand on her temple. “No fever it seems…” she said to herself, then, steeling herself against what might come she crossed herself and said, “Whoever you are, I want you to leave.”
Wilbur shrugged. “Fine,” he said. He got up and went off to find his brother-in-law.
The woman sat down cautiously on the next bench over and tossed breadcrumbs on the sidewalk.
To Be Continued…